Officials at Bucknell University have ordered an investigation into what they described as a “horrific” episode of harassment targeting residents at a house for L.G.B.T.Q. students on its campus in Lewisburg, Pa., last week.
In a letter to students, the university said a group of men “harassed and intimidated” residents of Fran’s House, an affinity house for L.G.B.T.Q. students, and tried to break into the building on Thursday night. In interviews, residents said they were terrified and traumatized by the episode.
“It is clear from multiple accounts that the students violated the physical space and, far more importantly, the residents’ sense of place and security,” the university’s president, its provost and an associate provost wrote in the letter, dated Friday. “We cannot erase the ugliness and subsequent trauma of last night’s transgression against the students of Fran’s House and, implicitly, many others, but we can commit to addressing it in a way that protects L.G.B.T.Q. Bucknellians.”
Tyler Luong, a junior who is a resident assistant, said he was in his room at Fran’s House studying for a final exam when someone texted a house group chat thread warning residents to lock their windows and doors.
banned the fraternity for hazing violations that included underage drinking, the use of dog shock collars on members, the throwing of darts at members and other activities “creating a reasonable likelihood of bodily injury.”
The Fran’s House residents who witnessed and reported the harassment on Thursday said they recognized the instigators as seniors who were part of the now-banned fraternity.
The Bucknell community quickly rallied in support of Fran’s House, the students said. One professor organized people to stand guard outside the house in shifts from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. in the days after the episode. A march against toxic masculinity was organized.
“Knowing the breadth of support, I hope, will hasten the return of safety for the residents of Fran’s House — but time to heal and feel safe in their home will be needed,” Bucknell’s office of L.G.B.T.Q. resources said on Instagram.
a letter to the Bucknell community, Fran’s House residents thanked students, staff members and alumni for the support they had shown, and asked that Tower House be made the permanent home for Fran’s House and L.G.B.T.Q. students on Bucknell’s campus.
“Never again,” the letter said, “should someone feel entitled to come to our home and say it’s ‘their house and not ours.’”